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What is Neil Young touting?
Kujibo
post Feb 1 2012, 23:26
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I also caught that article and was wondering if discussion on it would show up here. I'm a big fan of Neil but the 5% argument among others did seem pretty out there and I was also thinking he would be a great candidate for an invite to do ABX testing to see what comes out of it.

I know Neil has raved about Blu Ray as a delivery format, expressing his displeasure with CD quality. I think that was one of the things about his archive series, he supposedly spent a lot of time getting it all ready for us to enjoy and the high resolution was a large part of that.

A ways back I did try the 24/192k thing out on my PC for the heck of it by comparing some of the content from his archive series to the regular CD releases of the same songs. While not an ABX test, it did sound fairly different to me (or course I could be imagining it). But different in the remastered kind of way, as in I could hear some aspects of instruments things I couldn't hear in the CD release which in any kind of logical thinking I couldn't pin down to content above 20 kHz. So that didn't prove anything to me and I rely on the wisdom of actual ABX test results between CD and higher resolution I have seen here as I didn't care enough to bother more. Maybe Neil just spent more time being involved in the mixes of the high resolution material this time, and maybe that's part of what he is getting at about ensuring quality until the end of delivery.

I do agree with him wanting to bring the quality up though. For me, I would NEVER buy music delivered to me in a lossy format, and it bothers me that it is the only way I can buy most music online. I've had an iTunes gift card sitting here unused for years as I can't bring myself to buy lossy music. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine listening to lossy music, but I will not buy it, in fear that some small part of it might contain a problem section, or that I will lose more in a trans-code to a format I actually want to use. If I am paying money for music, I wan't the 100% quality, and in that, I can agree with Neil completely.

I still feel like there is room for quality improvements in the recording and reproduction of audio in general too. Listening to a recording on a stereo still feels like it is losing something over being at a live performance. Quite frankly when I think of the mechanics of microphones and speakers I'm amazed things sound as good as they even do.
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ramicio
post Feb 2 2012, 01:41
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QUOTE (Busemann @ Feb 1 2012, 16:34) *
Or, perhaps the demand for CDs and FLAC (or lossless in general) just isn't there..


I think it's all about control and greed. Music is art, and art doesn't really deserve to be industrialized at all, especially to the point it has been. The execs are the ones reaping all of the benefits. Let the artists control everything including the freedom to deliver in whatever format they want. In this day and age of everyone being connected, the artists don't need representation to get their material out there. So in a nutshell, the industry knew it was getting to be obsolete and then lobbied to become a superpower of control, and now they are just a monopolistic dinosaur with their tentacles all over everything. People really don't deserve to be jailed for downloading music or movies they can't afford. Get rid of the industry, and the music could cost like a dollar for an album while the artists are pulling in the same money they do now, but with freedom.

This post has been edited by ramicio: Feb 2 2012, 01:43
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mjb2006
post Feb 2 2012, 02:20
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QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 1 2012, 15:26) *
A ways back I did try the 24/192k thing out on my PC for the heck of it by comparing some of the content from his archive series to the regular CD releases of the same songs. While not an ABX test, it did sound fairly different to me (or course I could be imagining it). But different in the remastered kind of way,

The original CD masters weren't used for those archive series releases. They were totally remastered by Chris Bellman in 2009. So the comparison you made was between apples and oranges.
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andrew_berge
post Feb 2 2012, 03:35
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QUOTE (ramicio @ Feb 1 2012, 06:38) *
FLAC isn't supported in iTunes (and others) because it competes with their own lossless codec. The industry simply does not like lossless because bandwidth costs them money. They dislike it for the same reason that they dislike CDs, because it's something tangible that cuts into their profits. Also because they could care less about you needing to convert to other formats and having generational loss of quality. They care about immediate quality, and to the world, MP3 is good enough because it takes a few seconds to download, versus a few minutes for lossless. Society is 100% about instant gratification.


Maybe somewhat unrelated, but the movie industry sure is holding on to their expensive DVDs and Blu-Rays for dear life, and the only way you can get a movie online from them is if you buy a disc first!

I just don't get it.
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Busemann
post Feb 2 2012, 09:48
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QUOTE (ramicio @ Feb 1 2012, 17:41) *
QUOTE (Busemann @ Feb 1 2012, 16:34) *
Or, perhaps the demand for CDs and FLAC (or lossless in general) just isn't there..


I think it's all about control and greed. Music is art, and art doesn't really deserve to be industrialized at all, especially to the point it has been. The execs are the ones reaping all of the benefits. Let the artists control everything including the freedom to deliver in whatever format they want. In this day and age of everyone being connected, the artists don't need representation to get their material out there. So in a nutshell, the industry knew it was getting to be obsolete and then lobbied to become a superpower of control, and now they are just a monopolistic dinosaur with their tentacles all over everything. People really don't deserve to be jailed for downloading music or movies they can't afford. Get rid of the industry, and the music could cost like a dollar for an album while the artists are pulling in the same money they do now, but with freedom.


That's not quite right. If the labels truly were superfluous or obsolete then they wouldn't exist.. It's still very important for artists to have a strong label behind them for various reasons.
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ramicio
post Feb 2 2012, 14:16
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QUOTE (Busemann @ Feb 2 2012, 04:48) *
That's not quite right. If the labels truly were superfluous or obsolete then they wouldn't exist.. It's still very important for artists to have a strong label behind them for various reasons.


It is right. They have the power of lobby, and have the power to control what music society is exposed most to. If an artist chooses not to be represented by a label, they simply never make it. It is a much more complex issues than I care to get more into, but they are totally obsolete, and when iron giants become obsolete, they lobby to gain power and influence to stomp out any competition.
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MichaelW
post Feb 2 2012, 17:09
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QUOTE (ramicio @ Feb 3 2012, 02:16) *
They have the power of lobby, and have the power to control what music society is exposed most to. If an artist chooses not to be represented by a label, they simply never make it.


I'm not sure about that. Either the labels promote artists and therefore do useful work (however arbitrary their choices of whom to promote), or they don't. If they're not needed, then artists would presumably be promoting themselves quite successfully on the internet, with community groups doing the filtering and promotion that the labels do at the moment. Internet fame is truly possible: all over the world, people watch videos of a Japanese cat called Maru, partly because the cat is fascinating, but mostly because the videos are quite beautifully made, and so they stand out from all the other cat videos. I don't know of any musicians who've achieved a similar fame through the net, though they may be there.

The labels are ugly, indeed, and have far too much power in the world: but that doesn't mean that the basic distribution and publicity they do is unnecessary.
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rick.hughes
post Feb 2 2012, 21:51
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Feb 2 2012, 11:09) *
...
I don't know of any musicians who've achieved a similar fame through the net, though they may be there.
...

A lot of the music I get these days are not from any heavily promoted "superstar" artists but they probably make a decent living. Maybe more musicians making decent livings from smaller audiences is something the internet can make happen better than the big labels.
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andy o
post Feb 3 2012, 03:00
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Um, Justin Beiber?

Or, on an actually good note, Pomplamoose. Although, they don't seem to achieve mainstream status, they've done very good for themselves on youtube and iTunes.

Also, lesser known bands have become hugely popular mainly through their videos like OK Go, for instance. Youtube is the new, free, democratic MTV.

And not only music, I would never have become a fan (well maybe eventually) of the Daily Show if it weren't for all the youtube sharing back in the day.
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MichaelW
post Feb 3 2012, 05:17
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It's good, then, that people are making a decent living without the labels. My doubt was really about the extent to which apparent net success was really independent--I think Lily Allen got a lot of exposure on YouTube, but that was supposed to be a carefully planned "viral" marketing campaign.
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